Monday, 3 December 2012

Callisto is our saviour...

We moored up on Saturday night just outside of Nuneaton, well just passed Marsten Junction. Opening the doors Sunday morning my heart sank.... more ice, but this time thicker !

I took a calculated position... we had taken off some blacking on Saturday and the survey said it needed doing sometime soon so I took the boat hook and smashed the ice infront of Percy and set off, cracking we shall go.

I don't like cruising in ice, but needs must. First two boats side doors open and to their credit did not moan at me, just commented how quickly the canal had frozen and how thick the ice was. We mucked up one turn slowing down giving the ice a chance then I came up to the kink just after bridge 18 and spied the armco and said enough.....

Dissalusioned and expecting to have to stay put we headed off to find a shop for newspapers bread and milk. We had used a bag of coal in 2 days and we only brought one when we served the boat in Braunston!

Getting back to the canal after the shop I was delighted to see someone had come through. I spoke to a bloke walking his dog and he told me it was the coal boat and he had come from Springwood Haven.

We caught up with Callisto just as he was approaching our boat so we hailed him and took 4 bags off him and tipped him for clearing the cut for us !!

This was the boat I saw at Fradley when I met Geoff and Maffi, Geoff took some coal off him and Maffi locked him up Hunts lock !

We were about 2 hours behind schedule so sorry to Sue and Dave from NB Beefur, we exchanged a fleeting few words, next time I'll make you a cup of tea !

 We got to the top of the Atherstone flight at 12.45... no one about, perfect.

 We set to setting the locks ahead, most were empty but with teamwork we were at the bottom in just under a hour and a half. We even used the side pond to save some water !

As soon as we got out of Atherstone the temp plumeted again and ice was back on the canal, seems not much had been down the flight all day. We stopped at a lovely mooring at the bottom and my crew departed leaving me to a quiet boat  and some blogging as well as a glass or tewo of wine to celebrate the day. Hard work, dissapointment to elation thanks to the coal boat, now can I make Fradley in the daylight tomorrow.... if the canal does not re-freeze !!

Special thanks to Rachel, Callum who walked the flight and set all the locks (with Leia) and Tom and Courtney who drove out to fetch Rachel and Callum back. I have a great family x


Nick Holt said...

Hi Nev

Great to read of your new adventure aboard 'Percy' what a huge range of experiences in just a few days afloat! Winter boating has a drama and intensity all of it's own. I'm looking forward to the next installment - ice permitting!

very best wishes


(ps. I don't know if you'd consider adding us to your blogroll?)

Nev Wells said...


Thanks for the positive comment - next installment being written next. I'll certainly add you to the blogroll,

Take care